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## MTHM045 - Space Weather and Plasmas (2019)

MODULE TITLE | Space Weather and Plasmas | CREDIT VALUE | 15 |
---|---|---|---|

MODULE CODE | MTHM045 | MODULE CONVENER | Dr Claire Foullon (Coordinator) |

DURATION: TERM | 1 | 2 | 3 |
---|---|---|---|

DURATION: WEEKS | 0 | 11 | 0 |

Number of Students Taking Module (anticipated) | 21 |
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Major new discoveries and knowledge gained from space missions and ground-based observations, theory, and modeling are providing a wealth of engaging and inspiring topics for mathematicians and physicists to explore the physics of our space environment. This module includes interactive experiments (in-class demonstrations and online tools for independent study) while dealing with the mathematics of heliospheric physics, covering the solar wind, Sun-Earth relations and space weather. Heliospheric physics is a major application of the field of magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) but can go beyond MHD and captures fundamentals of plasma physics.

Pre-requisite Module: MTHM031, or equivalent.

*Other helpful or related modules that may lead to interest in taking this module, are: MTH3030, MTHM025, PHY2021, PHYM012.*

To introduce the rapidly changing field of heliophysics, space weather and space plasma physics, to capture fundamentals of plasma physics by giving an extended view of the applications of MHD and the subject of electrically conducting fluid dynamics, to review the basic physics underlying the dynamics of the Sun, to provide a background in the description of physical processes in the solar system in terms of MHD and to show the results of recent observations.

*The module will complement several modules taught in Term 1 in Maths (e.g. MTHM031) and Physics (e.g. PHYM012).*

On successful completion of this module, **you should be able to:**

**Module Specific Skills and Knowledge:**

1 Identify the main features and phenomena observed on the solar surface, in the solar atmosphere and in the heliosphere;

2 Describe the basic physical processes at work and express the basic dynamic processes operating in the solar system, in terms of MHD;

3 Articulate the concepts and deduce the equations governing the interaction of solar system plasmas and the solar activity effects on space weather;

4 Test and develop models exploiting ideas connecting physics, geophysics and astrophysics, natural sciences, physics of the weather, and applied Mathematics;

**Discipline Specific Skills and Knowledge:**

5 Explain mathematical solutions in terms of physical effects;

6 Formulate a real physical problem mathematically;

**Personal and Key Transferable / Employment Skills and Knowledge:**

7 Develop communication skills via in-class discussions;

8 Practise time management skills in order to meet coursework deadlines.

**Introduction to Heliophysics:**

- Overall properties, overview and interesting features;

**Physics of Space Plasmas: An Overview:**

- Particle and fluid descriptions; electromagnetic equations, momentum equation;

- Single particle motion;

- Basics of MHD Equations (reminders, e.g. Induction Equation);

- Magnetohydrostatics; plasma beta; potential fields;

**Solar MHD: Structures of the Magnetic field:**

- Force-free fields;

- Force-free arcades;

- Prominences (properties and model equilibria);

- Grad-Shafranov equation;

- The Lorentz force: magnetic pressure and tension; magnetic field lines, intense flux tubes and sunspots (properties and simple model);

**Solar MHD: Magnetic field Reconnection and Solar Flares:**

- Diffusion processes;

- Fluid descriptions of magnetic reconnection;

- Flare properties, standard model and statistics;

**MHD Waves:**

- Linearised MHD equations; Fourier analysis;

- Basic wave properties (reminders or complements);

- Magnetoacoustic modes;

**Solar Wind:**

- History; energy equation; hydrostatic corona;

- Parker's isothermal model (also adiabatic model); rotation of the Sun and the Parker spiral; the structure and evolution of the three-dimensional solar wind;

- Coronal mass ejections: morphology; kinematics; main forces involved.

**Magnetospheric Physics:**

- Planetary magnetic fields;

- Fundamentals of planetary magnetospheres (cavity, magnetopause, magnetotail)/ Comparative planetary environments;

- Solar-wind magnetosphere coupling: an MHD perspective;

**Space Weather:**

- Space storms and radiation.

Scheduled Learning & Teaching Activities | 33.00 | Guided Independent Study | 117.00 | Placement / Study Abroad | 0.00 |
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Category | Hours of study time | Description |

Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities | 22 | Lectures |

Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities | 11 | Example Classes |

Guided Independent Study | 30 | Problem Sheets |

Guided Independent Study | 87 | Reading, Revision and Preparation |

Form of Assessment | Size of Assessment (e.g. duration/length) | ILOs Assessed | Feedback Method |
---|---|---|---|

Problem sheets containing a mixture of short answer questions and more comprehensive exercises | 6 hours/4 questions per problem sheet (3 sheets) | 1-8 | Feedback comments on individual student work; Examples, classes, solutions and general comments uploaded to ELE |

Coursework | 20 | Written Exams | 80 | Practical Exams | 0 |
---|

Form of Assessment | % of Credit | Size of Assessment (e.g. duration/length) | ILOs Assessed | Feedback Method |
---|---|---|---|---|

Written Exam – Closed Book | 80 | 2 hours - Summer Exam Period | 1-8 | Writtent/Verbal on request |

Coursework | 20 | 20 hours | 1-8 | Feedback sheet |

Original Form of Assessment | Form of Re-assessment | ILOs Re-assessed | Time Scale for Re-assessment |
---|---|---|---|

Written Exam | Written Exam | All | August Ref/Def Period |

Referred and deferred assessment will be by examination. For referrals, only the examination will count, a mark of 50% being awarded if the examination is passed. For deferrals, candidates will be awarded the higher of the deferred examination mark or the deferred examination mark combined with the original coursework mark.

information that you are expected to consult. Further guidance will be provided by the Module Convener

**Basic Reading:**

**ELE: **https://vle.exeter.ac.uk/

**Web based and Electronic Resources:**

__http://spacephysics.ucla.edu/index.html__

Reading list for this module:

Type | Author | Title | Edition | Publisher | Year | ISBN | Search |
---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|

Set | Priest, E. | Solar Magnetohydrodynamics | Forum Library 523.7 PRI | D. Reidel Publishing Company | 1982 | 902771374X | [Library] |

Set | Priest, E | Magnetohydro-Dynamics of the Sun | Forum Library 538.6 PRI | Cambridge University Press | 2014 | 978-0521854719 | [Library] |

Set | Schrijver, C.J. and Siscoe, G. | Heliophysics 1: Plasma Physics of the Local Cosmos | Library online | Cambridge University Press | 2009 | 978-1107340657 | [Library] |

Set | Schrijver, C.J. and Siscoe, G. | Heliophysics 2: Space Storms and Radiation: Causes and Effects | Library online | Cambridge University Press | 2010 | 978-1139194532 | [Library] |

Set | Schrijver, C.J. and Siscoe, G. | Heliophysics 3: Evolving Solar Activity and the Climates of Space and Earth | Library online | Cambridge University Press | 2010 | 978-0511760358 | [Library] |

Set | Russell, C.T., Luhmann, J.G., Strangeway, R.J. | Space Physics: An Introduction | Forum Library 523.01 RUS or 523 | Cambridge University Press | 2016 | 978-1107098824 | [Library] |

CREDIT VALUE | 15 | ECTS VALUE | 7.5 |
---|---|---|---|

PRE-REQUISITE MODULES | MTHM031 |
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CO-REQUISITE MODULES |

NQF LEVEL (FHEQ) | 7 | AVAILABLE AS DISTANCE LEARNING | No |
---|---|---|---|

ORIGIN DATE | Tuesday 10 July 2018 | LAST REVISION DATE | Thursday 08 August 2019 |

KEY WORDS SEARCH | Space Plasmas; Plasma Physics; MHD; Magnetic Fields; Sun; Solar System; Heliophysics; Space Weather; Solar Wind; Solar Activity: Weather (effect of Solar activity on); Heliosphere (Astrophysics); Solar-Terrestrial Physics; Applications of Vector Calculus |
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